Understanding when your Medicare Part A and Part B will be effective is important to know so that you can coordinate cancellation of your current insurance and enrollment into Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans. While most people will be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare, those who are born on the 1st of the month or those who enroll themselves can have different Medicare effective dates. You can calculate your enrollment dates here.
This article was updated on January 22, 2018 to include our deadline calculator
When Will My Medicare Coverage Start?
Like we said above, most people will be automatically enrolled into Medicare. This typically happens when you have already enrolled to receive Social Security. If this is your story, you will receive your red, white, and blue card about three months before your 65 birthday, and your coverage will begin on the 1st day of your birth month. If your birthday lands on the 1st of the month, however, then your coverage will begin on the 1st day of the prior month. An example of this is if you were born on May 1st, your Medicare coverage would start April 1.
If you chose to delay your start of Medicare and do not have a qualifying event (such as coverage through work) the chart below will explain when your coverage can/will begin.
|When you sign up for Medicare:||When your Medicare will begin:|
|Automatically enrolled/signed up before your 65th birthday month||First day of your birth month; UNLESS|
|Automatically enrolled/signed up before 65th birthday month BUT your birthday falls on the 1st||Your coverage will start on the 1st day of month prior to your birthday|
|During the 1st month you turn 65||Medicare will start 1 month after you sign up|
|One month after you turn 65||Medicare will start 2 months after you sign up|
|2 months after you turn 65||Medicare will start 3 months after you sign up|
|3 months after you turn 65||Medicare will start 3 months after you sign up|
|After that time*, you can usually only apply during the General Election Period (1/1-3/31)||Medicare will start July 1st.|
NOTE: If you have a qualifying event to enroll in Part B after 65, you will be able to start Medicare right away, and not have to wait until the General Election Period.
Coordinating Start Dates for Medigap with Medicare
Once you know when your Medicare effective date is, you can apply for Medicare Supplement (Medigap). You can enroll up to 3 months before your part B effective date. This way there’s no gap in coverage. Call us at 800-930-7956, and we can help coordinate your dates.
Coordinating Start Dates for Medicare Advantage or Drug coverage and Medicare
Same applies as above. Once you learn your Original Medicare effective date, you’ll want to apply for Medicare Advantage prior to that date, so that you have the coverage you desire.
Further Information About Medicare Start Dates
- 1) If you have delayed Part B, your start date will be different from above, as will your Medicare Advantage and Medigap effective dates.
- 2) If you are enrolled in Medicare Advantage and want to switch to Medigap, click to learn your effective date
- 4) Don’t forget to coordinate your Part D drug plan enrollment with your Original Medicare